Thursday, September 15, 2022

[East Cobb] Openings, Closings and So Much More!

ToNeTo Atlanta has been spending a lot of time in East Cobb (more on that later) and there is plenty of development activity to report on.  In months past we have shared news of new restaurants, services and retailers opening in the area and while we have updates to share on some of them, we also have new developments to report, too!  

Cava is slated to open Friday, September 16 at Merchants Exchange, an LA Fitness-anchored shopping center across Roswell Road from The Avenue East Cobb.  The new Cava, which ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on April 17, marks the sixteenth former Zoes Kitchen to be converted to Cava in metro Atlanta.

More than a year after The Avenue East Cobb was acquired by North American Properties, bits and pieces of the planned overhaul are starting to take shape.  Bed Bath & Beyond closed its roughly 21,000 square foot store at the center earlier this year.  Sources close to project tell ToNeTo Atlanta that the former Bed Bath & Beyond space will likely be backfilled by several, as opposed to one, tenant.  Kendra Scott, an aspirational jewelry store with existing Atlanta area stores at the Shops Around Lenox in Buckhead, Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody and Avalon in Alpharetta, opened a "pop-up" shop at The Avenue East Cobb on June 3.  The store, located to the left of the East Cobb mural, is temporary for now, but could become permanent depending on the performance of the pop-up.  In addition to the Atlanta area stores, Austin, Texas-based Kendra Scott also operates stores at Augusta Mall in Augusta, Broughton Street in Savannah and has another store coming soon to Alps Road in Athens.  

Popular eyewear retailer Warby Parker is also opening at The Avenue East Cobb.   The new shop will be the fourth in metro Atlanta for the New York-based chain, joining existing outposts at Westside Provisions Distinct in West Midtown, Buckhead Village District in Buckhead, and Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody.  Mattress retailer Tempur-Pedic is also opening in the Avenue East Cobb as is New York Butcher Shop.

Avenue East Cobb was in its heyday home to Abercrombie & Fitch and Borders Books & Music, among others, and while times have changed, the project, with its new "jewel boxes" and greenspace along with new restaurant and retail options, seems primed to once again become a vibrant activity center.  

Cleaver & Cork is nearing completion on its buildout of the former Fit Body Boot Camp and should open in a week or so.  The new East Cobb location will be the fourth outpost for the Newnan-based small business with a fifth slated to open next year in Columbus, Georgia.  

LongHorn Steakhouse is still planning to move locations in East Cobb but it's unclear when exactly the move will take place.  The Atlanta born but now Orlando-based chain is planning to relocate their existing restaurant at 4721 Lower Roswell Road to the site of a former BB&T bank about two miles away, at 4370 Roswell Road.  The new restaurant would be 5,710 square feet, a bit smaller than what property records indicate is the restaurant's current 5,954 square foot size.  The new restaurant is essentially in an outparcel of the Merchants Exchange shopping center at the opposite end of where Cava is opening. 

Premium salad shop Chopt is opening a new location in a portion of the former California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) at Pinestraw Place, the Trader Joe's-anchored center at the corner of Johnson Ferry and Roswell Roads.  The new Chopt is slated to open in "about a month" and will be the fifth in metro Atlanta for the New York-based chain.  In the months to come, Chopt also plans to open new locations in Kennesaw and Brookhaven.  

New locations of both Tropical Smoothie Cafe and Scooter's Coffee are planned for outparcels of East Lake shopping center (2197 Roswell Road).  Both businesses are slated to be primarily drive-thru focused with Tropical Smoothie and its roughly 1,200 square space is expected to include limited seating.  The nearly 700 square foot Scooter's will serve vehicles only.  

In the adjacent center, today anchored by Harbor Freight Tools, a former freestanding Powerco Federal Credit Union has been demolished to make way for a new ground-up Starbucks.  

Marshalls is moving to Merchants Walk (1289 Johnson Ferry Road), where it will occupy about two-thirds of the former Stein Mart space.   The space has been vacant since the Jacksonville, Florida-based retailer closed in 2020 when the company filed for bankruptcy and subsequently closed all of its stores.  An existing Marshalls store about four miles away in the Marshalls at Eastlake shopping center, will "move" to Merchants Walk.  The current Marshalls is 27,000 square feet and anchors the center where goPuff and DashMart from DoorDash recently opened micro-distribution centers.  In Merchants Walk, Marshalls is taking 24,737 square feet of the overall 36,000 square foot space.   Sources close to the retailer indicate that the closing/opening will take place in early-to-mid-November.  

Retailer J. Crew opened a new "J. Crew Factory" August 27 at Merchants Walk.  The new outlet store replaced several smaller shops when it opened in a 5,740 square foot space in the Whole Foods Market-anchored center.  Another new J. Crew Factory location also opened in Alpharetta September 13 at North Point Marketcenter along North Point Parkway near North Point Mall.  (If you are a J. Crew fan and are interested in learning more about how they plan to renew their relevancy, check out this recent GQ story on former Supreme designer turned J. Crew men's creative director Brendon Babenzien.)

Sleep Galleria, an Atlanta-based mattress and sleep accessories retailer, opened September 1 at Merchants Walk.  The new store joins existing locations in Acworth and Johns Creek and is the company's largest store to date.  The store is roughly 6,600 square feet and took the balance of the former Stein Mart space not taken by Marshalls.  

Valvoline Instant Oil Change facility is planned for the former Chevron at the corner of Roswell and Johnson Ferry Roads.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the planned development in March 2021 and while it is still believed to be moving forward, there is no definitive opening timetable.  

A new First Watch restaurant is currently under construction at 1080 Johnson Ferry in an outparcel of the Publix-anchored Woodlawn Point shopping center.  ToNeTo Atlanta first reported on the planned restaurant this past December, but site work, including the demolition of a former bank branch turned COVID-19 testing facility, only began recently.  The new East Cobb outpost of the popular breakfast & lunch eatery is one of at least two the Bradenton, Florida-based chain has in the pipeline for metro Atlanta.  First Watch also plans to open a new restaurant on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta where the company will convert a former Chili's Bar & Grill.  

Red Sky Tapas & Bar, located in Market Plaza shopping center next to Christos, closed permanently as of Tuesday September 13.  Co-owner Terry Kirby tells ToNeTo Atlanta that he and business partner Brian Kennington were presented with "an offer they couldn't refuse" and made the difficult decision to sell the business.  Kirby & Kennington opened Red Sky in 2008 and weathered many storms - not the least of which was opening during a recession - but recent staffing challenges made operating the restaurant with consistent hours and with consistent service incredibly difficult.  The restaurant will reportedly be reconcepted under new ownership and reopen at a later date.  1911 Biscuits & Burgers, the casual breakfast and lunch spot that Kirby & Kennington opened in December 2020 along South Cobb Drive in Smyrna, remains open.  

In recent months I, Eli Zandman, creator and publisher of ToNeTo Atlanta, passed the Georgia real estate exam and have become a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeService Georgia Properties at their East Cobb office.  While I'm new to the real estate business, long time ToNeTo Atlanta readers are aware of my incredible market knowledge of the greater metro Atlanta area.  If you or anyone you know is looking to buy, sell or just get a better understanding of the local real estate market, feel free to reach out to me and I'd be delighted to assist.  

If you like this post, check out our earlier coverage of the many projects in Buford at and near the Mall of Georgia.  


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Eli! I know you are going to do well in real estate. You have great knowledge of the Atlanta area! very happy for you!

Chantel said...

Congratulations, Eli!

Anonymous said...

Great article! Thanks for keeping us "in the know!"

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the update and information on East Cobb.

Best wishes to you on your new job!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck with your new career. I’ve enjoyed reading your updates for years and I’m sure you’ll have much success.

Anonymous said...

All the best wishes to you Eli in your Real Estate business. you are always very strategic and know how to build great relationships. I know you are going to be great for your company and for your customers.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Eli!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new real estate adventure!

Jodyml813 said...

Congratulations Eli! You will do well in real estate, You are in the know and in touch with the community.

Anonymous said...

The only negative I see to this is that Tomorrow's News Today's coverage will probably now be hyper-focused on Cobb County, to the exclusion of other areas.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Eli!

Please don't open an office in Town Brookhaven. :)

Emma said...

Congrats on becoming a realtor!

Anonymous said...

I have read your post ever since you were a concierge at the Ritz Carlton long ago and you have come a long way since then. I even consulted with you 8 years ago about starting a frozen yogurt place and you said "NO." How right you were as they all started dying 6 years ago.

Good luck as a realtor! I suppose you are doing business realty as there is no inventory in residential!!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes on your real estate career! Big news… Zestos on Piedmont is permanently closed. I will miss their ice cream. Would love to see the backstory on that. :-(

Smiley said...

Did you guys know they were planning to tear down the bank for the new longhorns or did you get the square footage from the existing building. Just asking because I went by the other day and saw that they were tearing the old bank down and are apparently going to be building the new location from the ground up.

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